Pulling into Jackson Hole in the middle of the night, I get a text from Casey, “All hotel rooms are full! My family is going to have to sleep in our van.” I bet that you can all guess how that went for Casey and Ryanne, with 3 kids that are 5 and under….
We parked in the back of the rec center. We didn’t have too much time before we would be getting up for the day, but any sleep minutes that can be squeezed in, are beneficial. We nod off for a bit, and it is soon morning. We quietly got James up and ready. Natalie and I went inside the rec center to scope it out for a bit, and when we came back out to get changed, all the guys had already gone in. We hustled, getting our suits on, and grabbing all of our stuff to shower.
There wasn’t really anyone in there to hang out with us, but Jason Crompton was there. He is a triathlete friend, who had since moved away. It was fun to see him there, in his flashy speedo! James saw the slide and he knew…he knew that there was no way that the Wingmen wouldn’t require him to go down that slide before he started his swim. He was a good sport about it, and the Wingmen cheered the whole way down the slide.
The swim began, and Casey made his traditional entrance, something very splashy. I jumped in and swam some laps. I could see all of the fast swimmers in the lane with James. It was like old times, all of us swimming together. Us girls got out early, and went in to shower. Seems like I remember seeing my mother-in-law in the locker room, she must have been showering…
Out in the parking lot, there were friends arriving one-by-one; buddies from home, coming to bike and spend the day with James. I felt so happy. I knew that James was going to have a great day, with his friends! I figured things out in the RV, as the kids woke up one at a time. I grabbed them snacks around the RV, then planned to grab breakfast once James was off.
I could hear everyone joking around outside, again, it made me so happy! 2 more days…just 2 more days and we will be home. I couldn’t wait to be back with all of the people we love. They took off on their bikes. I had no desire to do anything adventurous. We only had 2 days left, it was about survival. Jackson Hole is beautiful, but we have been there, and it is a lot like home. The kids went to the playground that was next door, and we made a plan for breakfast.
If all of the hotels were gone, there is no way that there would find a place to eat, especially with the size of group we had! We called and ordered food to go. We accidentally called somewhere in another state first, ha! We realized it and called back immediately after placing the order. We found a local place, and we soon had pancakes and such for 15+ people.
A stranger showed up, “Hi, I am Ryan Kreshaw, I am here from Canada. I am going to run the next 3 marathons with James. I am easy, and I plan to sleep in the parking lot until James is ready to run.” He laid out a sleeping bag, and that was that.
The Vidmars had come to hang out, and bike with James. Tim’s ‘non-girlfriend’ who I believe is now his wife, came also with her face painting stuff. She set up right there for the kids and painted their faces for them! Kids LOVE face painting! Something so simple really made my kids’ day, and it was so awesome of her to do it!!! Food arrived, people chowed, we laughed/chilled, and then we all got to work. There was a lot of ‘business’ stuff to be done. Zyto people helped me and we got going while the kids rode their bikes and played on the playground.
Our film guys wanted to do a bunch of interviews. One-by-one, they pulled people into the hot RV (which fortunately was in the shade much of the day), and interviewed us. This took quite a bit of time, and it was soon afternoon. I don’t remember lunch, but I do remember walking to an ice cream shop downtown. The kids loved it, and the line was long as soon as we got our ice cream. We timed it perfectly, and the kids were so happy! Downtown was PACKED, so we moved quickly to get back to the RV.
Jenny, Natalie and I went to the post office, one of our favorite things to do, wink, wink. The kids were content riding bikes and hanging out, so we zipped around the corner and hopped in line. I swear we were there in line forever (like every post office), then we had a ton of stuff to mail. I hate holding up the line! I asked if there was someone from the back that could help me. They weren’t convinced until I showed them my bag…soon, there was another employee up front to help. Thank goodness!
When we returned, we were instructed to move to the 5k location. We packed everything up. Aaron’s parents were there to support us, and it is a good thing because I needed help with the trailer. His dad plopped that sucker on, saving the day! We drove to a school, maybe a high school, about 15 minutes away. It started to rain, and it continued to rain.
At the 5k location, people were starting to show up. Our friend Sami Turner was there with her cute family. She was one of James’ first friends when he moved here from Canada. I wasn’t expecting her, and was so happy and surprised!!!! I had arranged for our friends, the Petersons, to show up and surprise James. (In fact, I had attempted this throughout the entire 50, trying to convince people to surprise James and show up unexpectedly, but it never worked out.) It was an awesome surprise, not just for James, but for my kids too! We have been family friends for as long as any of our kids could remember.
There was also a surprise for me, Carlee showed up! She has lots of little kids, and her husband traveled for work. She had to work some magic to make it happen to be there in Wyoming. I freaked out, I could not believe she was there! She was in Washington at the beginning, and now she was in Wyoming at the end.
The 5k started, all of the people hopped in and did the run. James’ mom Charlotte was starting her third 5k with James. I went in to the RV and needed an idea for dinner. I can’t remember who I was talking to on the phone, maybe Kyle, but I placed an order and ‘they’ brought it to the RV. Food was being set aside, crew was being fed, some kids were eating, others were on the 5k, and I was trying to keep track of who wanted what, and where to set it while waiting.
When the 5k was done, we said our goodbyes. People went on their way, and we were so grateful they had come out to see/support us, and show their love. There was small group left to run with James. Ryan, from Canada was there, Kyle, Carlee, Jason (finishing the day the way it started, in a smiley face speedo), and a few others. They ran through the miserable rain… with many moments in silence.
There were a zillion people smooshing into the RV. It was leaving early, and I had been assigned to drive the van. I gave instructions to Charlotte for the kids, and off the RV went. Natalie, Carlee, Jenny and I were then hanging out in a car, while Natalie was working on a guy who had biked with James, Anthony Hilbers. James eventually finished, and we all split up, getting into the assigned vehicles.
I was driving the van, and I don’t remember the drive being too long. Natalie had worked on James for an hour or so, then came up front with me. I had been trying to talk to her to stay awake, but then she started to fall asleep. I knew that I was too tired to drive. I woke her up and asked her to send a text for me, to the Zyto girls, “I need someone to drive. I can’t stay awake.” Sariah and Hannah would take turns driving in the Subaru, following whichever car James was riding in. They were right behind us; tonight, Sariah would be driving the van. She was so sweet when she got in the van, I apologized profusely. Whether she cared or not, I will never know, she kindly took over the van. Then Natalie and I were OUT!